How To Obtain The Proper Oil Level From Your 4-Stroke Outboard Engine And Replace The Oil.

It is very much like a car. But, keep in mind that the cylinders are configured in a horizontal position, not vertical. The outboard engine design, pools oil behind the pistons, and in a variety of castings, surfaces inside the block. Before checking oil level, tilt the engine at least half tilt, and wait five minutes. Then, return the engine to the vertical position. All the oil will be drained into the oil pan. Now, you will be able to read the proper oil level and/or vacuum it all.
Secondly, vacuum all of the motor oil from the oil pan. An extractor kit, like the one shown below, makes the process simple and quick. The transfer probe fits into the engine dipstick tube. This is a four-liter container with a self-priming pump creating a vacuum, allowing fluid to flow quickly with only 15-18 strokes. This Fluid Extractor Kit is manufactured by Moeller (SKU No: 8617961) and is available at your local marine wholesaler.

Thirdly, refer to your engine owner’s manual for the recommended engine oil, quantity and filter. Data specification may be found on the engine decal. Lubricate the seal on the oil filter. Slowly fill the filter until it is absorbed with oil. Secure oil filter and clean surrounding area for later inspection of any leakage. Fill the engine with 2/3 of the recommended engine oil tank capacity. Check the dipstick for oil level to be between the lower and upper marking. If additional oil is needed, fill slowly. Some outboard engine oil tanks are narrow at the top and fill quickly.
Fourthly, start the engine (idle only) on a flush attachment or in the water and allow the engine to reach operating temperature. Meanwhile, watch to make sure the low oil pressure warning indicator does not turn on. Check the newly and cleaned oil filter. Make sure there are no oil leaks. Turn-off the engine, tilt the engine a least half way for four or five minutes and return to the vertical position. Then check the proper oil level. If the oil level is not between the lower and upper markings on the dipstick, make the necessary adjustment. Use the extractor kit, if the oil level is above the upper marking (If the engine was tilted before draining the oil, the oil level should not be above the upper marking). Note: For Suzuki engines remember to reset the oil change reminder system.

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Happy Boating,

J Alberto
JA Outboard Service

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